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tv   Today  NBC  December 9, 2019 7:00am-9:01am PST

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let's begin with abuse of power. what that means, it is to use the power of the office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interests. or acts in ways that are grossly inconsistent with and undermine the separation of powers that is the foundation of our democratic system. now, this question of whether the president engaged in abuse of power came up before when this congress considered the impeachment of president nixon. and after action was taken, president nixon famously said if the president does it, it is no it is not illegal and this body rejected that because that's not so. that goes directly contrary to what the founders said. but president trump has said the same thing in responding to the prior investigation by department of justice.
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>> then i have the article 2 where i have the right to do whatever i want as president. >> that is as wrong as when president nixon said a similar thing. that's not what the constitution provides. that's not what the country demands. he does not have the right to do whatever he wants. turning to the second abuse of power, uninformed powers. the american people suffered that foreign influence when president trump treated military aid that had been approved taxpayer dollars and decided to treat it as his own checkbook to try to further his own re-election chances. that is what the founders were concerned about. the framers nucor rupt leaders
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concentrate their powers is to manipulate elections and undercut adversaries. that's why they thought it was a critical abuse and that could support and lead to impeachment let me show another clip on the campaign trail. >> russia, if you're listening i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> and russia was listening. within five hours of president trump's invitation to russia to interfere in our election by
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trying to hack and obtain the e-mails of his political opponent, russia, in fact, tried to do that for the first time. the very officers that were then indicted by the department of justice for that conduct, they took candidate trump's invitation. now the american people learned a lesson. president trump fourntly apparently learned a different lesson. let's look. >> well, i would think if they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. they should investigate the bidens. >> so this was president trump answering a question about what did he want him to do. so even after he got caught he is saying again, this vulnerable nation dependent on u.s. support militarily and otherwise, again he's telling them what to do and
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unlike in 2016 when he only had a campaign platform now he has the levers of government in his control to not only pressure it but invite that country to do it. that's what you'll hear more about in the presentation from the house intelligence committee and what's most striking as we come back to the issue that the framers were concerned about, is there a continuing risk of wrong doing. the fact that president trump did this after he was caught shows the risk. shows the risk of what will happen if this body doesn't act. he really does believe he can act as though he was above the law. he really does believe as evidenced by his conduct that he can put his personal and political interests over the nation's interests, over the nations national security interest. over the nations integrity of
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its elections. >> so of course we do have an election coming up. that's the reason we must have this discussion. to make sure that it's not interfered with. to make sure that this president doesn't do it. to make sure that future presidents do not do it. it is the hope that in these discussions, you can put aside political rank or disagreements and have a fair discussion about
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the facts in this conduct. that is not a reason against impeachment. for that, of course, you must vote your conscious. but that is a reason to have a fair debate about what the undisputed facts show. to recognize that it's wrong and cannot happen again with this president or any president. it's a reason to talk about whether we want our children and grandchildren to live in a country where the president elected by the people can put his own personal and political interest over the interest of the people that elected them. it is a reason for these debates. so again, fairly focused on the facts and to make sure that the presentations we're going to hear will not distort the record. focus on process points. raise extraneous matters
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intended to distract rather than focus on what the conduct was at issue here. it is a reason to focus on the facts. and what is in the country's best interest. history, future generations will be the judge. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman. >> you are recognized for 30 minutes. >> mr. chairman, point of order. >> mr. castor is recognized. >> point of order. >> mr. chairman, the witness has violated rule 17 and my point of order should be heard. >> point of order. >> the witness has used language which impugns the motives of the president and suggests he is disloyal to his country and those words should be stricken from the record and taken down. >> the point of order is not sustained.
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witnesses are not subject to the -- >> appeal the ruling of the chair. >> the topic of the hearing is the president's misconduct so none of us should find it surprising that we are hearing testimony that is critical of the president. i do not find that the witnesses comments are disorderly. i find they're pertinent to the subject matter of this hearing. the witness would be able to continue except his time has expired. >> mr. chairman. my point of order is not that they're disorderly. they're unparliamentary. they violate the rules of the house. this is not about his conduct. he's talking about the motives and the character of the president of the united states. >> the gentleman will suspend. the rules of decorum apply to members of the house and not to witnesses. gentleman may proceed. >> i will appeal the ruling of the chair. >> that is not a ruling. >> it is. >> it's a ruling on a point of order. it's appealable.
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>> that is a ruling. the point of order is not sustained. >> the motion is made to table. motion to table is sustained. >> roll call. >> the clerk will call the roll. [ roll call ] republicans making several procedural challenges as we intended to expect. >> mike johnson of louisiana.
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he brought up a louisiana. proper procedure. and trump over the course of his testimony. and the rule of decorum is established in the house. and because democrats control the committee we suspect they will be turning down this motion. >> we concluded with the testimony of the attorney for
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the judiciary committee. and we're about to hear from counsel for the minority. >> the clerk will report. >> there's 24 ayes and 15 noes. >> motion to table is carried. >> may i make a parliamentary inquiry. >> will not recognize the parliamentary inquiry at this time. good morning. i'm a congressional staff member.
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i'm also a shared staffer with the judiciary committee and mr. collins. the purpose of this hearing is to discuss whether donald j. trump's conduct and definition of a high crime and misdemeanor, it does not. the committee should consider articles of impeachment to remove the president from office and it should not. this case in many respects comes down to 8 lines the answer to that question is no. and 63 million people voted for. and the call transcript is
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bologna. and this was not theover ganic outgrowth of serious misconduct. and a set of facts to impeach president trump january 20th 2017. just 27 minutes after the president's inauguration that day, the washington post ran a story that the campaign to impeach the president has already begun. and noted that to leave the constitutions clause would be there. they introduced articles of impeachment to remove president trump from office on several very different factual basis. on january 3rd, the very first day of the new congress,
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congressman sherman introduced articles of impeachment against the president. the same day the representative said we're going to go in there and impeach the -- president. in may 2019, representative green said on msnbc if we don't impeach this president, he will be reelected. even speaker pelosi that said it is a somber and prayerful exercise called president trump an imposture and said it is dangerous to allow voters to judge his performance in 2020. in the oversite committee, a disgraced felon pleaded guilty to align the congress.
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when he came before us at the oversight committee he then lied again as many as 8 times. the oversight committee democrats demanded information about the personal finances and even subpoenaed the president's counting firm for large swaths of sensitive and personal financial information about the entire trump family. democrats demanded the ways and means and was to oversea for tax returns. you can judge that for yourself. in the financial services committee democrats demanded and subpoenaed the president's bank records going back ten years. the republicans tell me the information demanded would cover
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every withdrawal, credit card swipe or debit card purchase of every member of the trump family including his minor child. the reason the democrats gave for why they needed such intrusive personal information about the trump family was get this, financial industry compliance with banking statutes and regulations. here in the judiciary committee democrats sent out letters demanding information from over 80 recipients including the president's children, business partners, and employees, his campaign, businesses and foundation. of course the main event was the report of special counsel mueller which democrats would believe would serve as the basis for impeaching the president. inspite interviewing 500 witnesses, issuing 2,800
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subpoenas, executing almost 500 search warrants and spending $25 million the 19 attorneys and fbi agents and analysts and staff found no conspiracy or coordination between the trump campaign and the russian government. after the trump-russia collusion allegations did not pan out, democrats focused their efforts on obstruction of justice. they criticized attorney general barr for concluded that no crime of obstruction had occurred during the investigation but in fact was entirely appropriate for the attorney general to make that call because the special counsel declined to do so. not surprisingly, the democrats mueller hearing was underwhelming to say the least and definitely did not move the impeachment needle either. the intelligence committee too was heavily invested in the
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russia collusion investigation. committee democrats hired former federal prosecutors to prepare for their anticipated efforts to impeach the president. now democrats settled on the ukraine phone call, 8 lines uttered on the 25th with the ukrainian president. neither was the oversight committee, the chief investigative entity. the judiciary committee was only recently brought back into the mix after fact finding concluded. instead the impeachment inquiry was run by the house intelligence committee and the former federal prosecutors. democrats on the intelligence committee ran the impeachment inquiry in a man feifestly unfairway. all the fact finding was unclassified and that was made
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clear on top of every single deposition but the democrats took advantage of the closed door process in the capital basement bunker to control access to information. allowing misleading public narratives to form and catch hold with careful weeks of testimony. democrats refuse to invite republican witnesses and directed witnesses called by the democrats not to answer our questions. in the public hearings, many of these unfair processes continued. democrats refused to invite numerous witnesses requested by republicans. and prevent witnesses from answering republican questions. democrats voted down by virtue of a motion to table with no notice and documents and testimony requested by republicans. and they never once brought
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their subpoenas to a vote before the intelligence committee. this unfair process reflects the degree to which democrats are obsessed with impeaching the president. the mueller report, obstruction before landing on the ukraine phone call. the inquiry is an orchestrated effort to up end our political system according to politico the speaker shifted every step of the inquiry. to test which allegations which it will be quid pro quo or bribery or extortion were most
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compelling to the american public. the entire impeachment from the time announced on september 24th until today has been 76 days. as the profess to testified last wednesday the impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding with the thinnest record and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president. the deadline by which they were leads to a rush process and missed opportunities to obtain relative information. they avoided the process required by courts and disputes between congress and the executive. democrats did not exhaust all of their options to entice
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witnesses or agencies to cooperate such as allowing witnesses to appear with agency lawyers. sometimes it gets you a different result. sometimes witnesses choose to appear when contempt is on the table. democrats even withdrew a subpoena from one witness from congress and the executive either because the democrats didn't want to wait for the court to rule or they didn't like the presiding judge instead they made demands and refused to budge their they threatened that their salaries could be withheld for not meeting demands. these tactics are fundamentally unfair and counter productive
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for gathering information in any serious inquiry. it's contrary to how investigations typically work. in this job you must take the information that's offered even if you don't like the terms. you should not say no to taking a witnesses testimony because you would prefer the agency counsel is not president. if that's the only means of obtaining the testimony, you should take it. your priority must not be on blocking information out, it must be on seeking information. the justice department decision in 2016, the irs targeting information, the benghazi investigation and fast and furious there's been give and
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take between congress and the executives. the justice department only began producing documents to the committee after many more months of discussions. in none of these investigations did congress get everything it wanted right at the beginning. certainly not within 76 days but with persistence and patience we did receive enough information to do our work. the trump administration has in fact cooperated with and facilitated and for example earlier this year they conducted investigation into security clearances.
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and grant clearances to certain white house staff. they sought to interview career staff that perform the security clearance reviews. and they appear with agency counsel. the house and the white house were at an impasse. however, after a little bit of time, we the republican staff with the help of mr. jordan convinced the witness to appear with the agency council for our own interview. they were conducted with agency council. the testimony allowed the committee to obtain the evidence and get to the bottom of what was going on and it wasn't what was alleged. nobody outside of the clearance office was handing out clearances. certainly not senior white house
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staffers the inquiry was incomplete and in many places incoherent. the failure to exhaust all avenues and the articles of impeachment. as he said to the committee, i'm concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit evidence and anger. i believe this not only fails the standard of past impeachments but would create a
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dangerous precedent for future impeachments. the case for impeaching president trump as a result relies heavily on ambiguous facts. presumptions and speculation. he warned here too that impeachments have been based on proof not presumptions. the democrats do not have the proof now my counter parts are talented attorneys. i'm sure they will tell you a riveting story about a shadow or irregular foreign policy apparatus and smear campaign designed to distort for the
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president's benefit. he'll try to convince you that the trump administration, the same that they regularly accused of being competent orchestrated an international conspiracy at the highest levels. none of this adds up. it may be a great screen play but it's not what the evidence shows. it ignores all the evidence that does not advance their story. the democrats impeachment narrative resolves all ambiguous facts and conflicting evidence in a way most unflattering to
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the president. i won't present a detailed presentation now but allow me to highlight a few points. first the summary of the july 25th phone call reflects no conditionality or pressure. he never vocalized any discomfort or pressure on the call. he was not asking for a favor to help his re-election. he was asking for assistance to help our country move forward from the divisiveness of the russia collusion investigation he has said publicly and
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repeatedly that he felt no pressure. he said it again october 10th and most recently last week in time magazine if he was orchestrating a pressure campaign to force ukraine to investigate former vice president biden one would think that ukraine would have felt some pressure. they did not know that the security assistance was paused. they did not learn about it until publicly on august 28th. because the highest levels of the ukrainian government did not know about the pause there's no leverage implied. finally he met with president trump in new york on september
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25th at the united nations. it slowed to ukraine. both happened without ever taking actions or investigations. there's also substantial evidence going to the president's state of mind undercutting the assertion of malicious intent. ukrainian politicians openly spoke out against president trump during the 2016 election. these events bared directly on
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the president's state of mind. when he met with the president in warsaw -- i'm sorry, when vice president pence met with him in warsaw he stressed to him the need for reform and reiterated the president's concern about sharing among european allies ukraine passed historic reforms to fight corruption. these reforms including removing parliamentary immunity which witnesses said had been a historic source of corruption. the aid was paused for 55 days.
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very simply the evidence does not support the conclusion that president trump abused his power for his own personal political benefit. there's no clear evidence that president trump acted with malicious intent and with holding a meeting or security assistance indeed there are legitimate explanations for the actions that are not nepharious as the democrats alleged. he faithfully executed the duties of his office by delivering on what he promised the american voters he would do.
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that's no good reason to prevent the american people from deciding who is going to be the next president. for many of the defects that i touched on earlier. additionally as a factual matter the only direct testimony obtained about the president's reaction to the inquiry is from ambassador sondland that testified president trump told him to cooperate and tell the truth. president trump would like witnesses to testify but he has been forced to resist the unfair and abusive process. i believe strongly in the prerogative of the congress it's awful to hear the testimony from last week when he critiqued the
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house from proceeding on impeachment so rapidly and on such a thin record. to set this abbreviated schedule, demand documents and then impeach because they haven't been turned over when they go to court i think is an abuse of power. it's the undoing of a national election. i understand democrats issued a report arguing that contrary to the statement in 1998 impeachment was not undoing an election but i'd respond by saying i don't think many of the 62 million americans from all around the country that voted for president trump in 2016 would agree. the house would be nullifying the decision of the americans. the house will be doing it less than 11 months before the next election.
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there's still no compelling argument for why democrats in the house must take this decision out of the hands of the voters and do it before christmas. during the clinton impeachment the chairman said at bare minimum they must go beyond hearsay and beyond the demands that the president proved his innocence of vague and changing charges. i would submit those words ring as true today as the chairman believed them to be in 1998. it's reliant on hearsay and inuendo and presumptions. they have logged ever changing charges for impeachment going as far back as the president's inauguration. for all of these reasons, the extraordinary exercise of the house's impeachment authority is not warranted on the record presented. thank you for allowing me to present this information this
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morning and i yield back. >> thank you both for your presentations. mr. burke you're excused and we'll invite mr. goldman to take his place at the witness table. >> the carhairman is allowed to administrate an oath not mandated to but it's the practice of this committee to administer oaths to witnesses and i'm wondering why we have not administered the oath in this situation. >> i'm going to administer the oath to the two witnesses that are now coming before us to make presentation. the two gentlemen that just testified were not witnesses. they were making opening statements to the committee.
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we'll now administer an oath to mr. castor and goldman testifying. >> but typically we administer oaths before opening statements. >> for witnesses. for witnesses. >> mr. chairman, parliamentary inquiry. >> gentleman will suspend. mr. castor was here presenting the report of the committee. that's the opening statement for this committee. they were not witnesses before this committee. mr. castor and mr. goldman are witnesses before the committee. >> mr. chairman if they were making presentation the rules should apply. >> mr. chairman, i have a point of order. >> who is seeking recognition? >> mr. chairman, despite our repeated requests for access to the evidence we received less than 48 hours ago over 8,000 pages of documentation.
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mr. chairman, if this were a court of law, you would be facing sanctions right now by the bar association. >> the gentleman will state his point of order. >> how are we supposed to process over 8,000 pages of documents from various committees. >> that's not a point of order. >> i will now proceed. the gentleman will suspend and not make a speech. please rise and raise your hand right. >> do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you're going to give is to the best of your knowledge and belief so help you god? let the record show the presenters answered in the affirmative. be seated. >> you have one minute to
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conclude your testimony. it signals your time has expired. >> i have a point of order. >> you have to recognize. >> the gentleman will state his point of order. >> my point of order is this, you ruled against his point of order because you said mr. burke was a witness. you have just told us he was not a witness but he was a staffer. as such a staffer must avoid impugning motivations and if you're -- >> well, this is becoming a refrain from this particular hearing. republicans continuing to offer procedural challenges. chairman nadler getting some help on the side there from his attorney staff in making decisions. and they want to go now, let's go to jeff bennett now on capitol hill. jeff.
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he is making a substantive point because he is saying that in the last point of order, the one that he brought up about a half hour ago, he dismissed it because it can be be called up on impugning the order of president trump because they were witnesses. in the most recent point of order that was made the question was if they're witnesses why weren't they sworn in. they weren't really witnesses. they were just the opening act for daniel goldman for the republican counsel and now they're going back and forth about this definition of what constitutes as witness. so right now i believe they're going around the panel here with a role call vote on a motion connected to this back and forth that we saw about what
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constitutes a witness coming before this committee. these are attorneys giving reports. did you hear any new ground broken? >> not new ground. it's surprising that they haven't worked out this difference between witness and staffer beforehand and i think that just goes to show how many things people have been trying to do quickly over the weekend. but not a lot of surprises. i think that the presentation pretty much tracks the report that the intelligence committee put out earlier last week. and the presentation was one you would expect in this opening statement or closing argument. even in the opening statement, ranking member collins did not really make a point by rebuttal.
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didn't put up a defense at all. >> he had a very limited amount of time and didn't know what the other side was going to say. his presentation was much more one of characterization and it's what lawyers do in opening or closing arguments. he would pick up points and sort of reducing things to 8 lines in the transcript and not paying any attention to the nine witnesses and the roll up to those 8 lines in the transcript and that's what lawyers do. so not a lot of surprises there. >> they were voting on a motion to table. >> members of the committee. we are here today because donald j. trump the 48th president of the united states abused the power of his office, the
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american presidency for his political and personal benefit. >> president trump directed a months long campaign to solicit foreign help in his 2020 re-election efforts. with holding official acts from the government of ukraine in order to coerce and secure political assistance. and interference in our domestic affairs. as part of the scheme, he applied increasing pressure on the president of ukraine to publicly announce two investigatio investigations. he applied this himself and through his agents working within and outside of the u.s. government by conditioning a desperately sought oval office meeting and $391 million in
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taxpayer funded congressionally appropriated security assistance. vital to ukraine's ability to fend off russian aggression. when the president's efforts were discovered. he released the military aid though it would ultimately take congressional action for the money to be made fully available to ukraine. the oval office meeting still has not happened. and when faced with the opening of an official impeachment inquiry into his conduct, president trump launched an unprecedented campaign of obstruction of congress ordering executive branch agencies and government officials to defy
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subpoenas for documents and testimony. to date the committees received no documents pursuant to our subpoenas. were it not for courageous public servants doing their duty and honoring their oath to this country the scheme might still be concealed today. during the call he asked for a personal favor. to initiate the two investigations that president trump hoped could ultimately help his re-election in 20.
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the second sought to elevate an entirely debunked theory promoted by russian president vladimir putin that ukraine interfered in the last presidential election to support the democratic nominee. in truth as has been made clear, russia interfered in the last election in order to help then candidate trump. the allegations about biden and the 2016 election are false but that did not deter president trump during his phone call with the ukrainian president and it does not appear to deter him today. he hopes his attorney will report the results of mr. giuliani's efforts in ukraine
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last week to pursue the false allegations meant to tarnish vice president biden. president trump's persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security. the overwhelming evidence of this scheme is described in detail in a 300 page document entitled the trump ukraine impeachment report. transferred from the house committee on intelligence to this committee a few days ago. the report relies on testimony from numerous government officials. the vast majority of whom are nonpartisan career professionals responsible for keeping our nation safe and promoting american values around the globe. the evidence from these
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witnesses cannot seriously be disputed. i want to take a moment to introduce myself and discuss today's testimony. i joined as senior adviser and director of investigations at the beginning of this year. previously i served for ten years as a prosecutor in the attorney district of new york when i joined the department of justice under the george w. bush administration. the team i lead on the intelligence community includes other former federal prosecutors. a retired fbi agent and investigators with significant
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national security expertise. they were gathered as part of the impeachment inquiry into president trump's actions. nothing more and nothing less. the three investigating committees ran a fair, professional and thorough investigation. we followed the rules for depositions and public hearings including agency council and members and staff from both parties had equal time to ask questions and there were no substantive questions that were prevented from being asked and answered. this investigation moved swiftly and intensively as all good investigations should. to the extent that other witnesses would be able to provide more context and detail about this scheme. their failure to testify is due solely to the fact that president trump obstructed the
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inquiry and refused to make them available. never theless, the evidence the committee uncovered during this investigation lead to the following critical findings. first he used the power of his office to indus the newly elected president of ukraine to interfere in the election for president trump's personal and political benefit. second, in order to increase the pressure on ukraine to announce the politically motivated investigations that president trump wanted, president trump withheld a coveted oval office meeting and 391 dollars of essential military assistance from ukraine. third, president trump's conduct sought to undermine our free and fair elections and poses an
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imminent threat to our national security. and faced with the revelation of the pressure campaign against ukraine he directed an unprecedented effort to obstruct congress's impeachment inquiry into his conduct. and with that i'd like to turn to the evidence of president trump's conduct concerning ukraine. my colleague just said it revolves around and that's what we selected of a months long scheme directed by the president. but i do want to start with that phone call because that's critical evidence of the
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president's involvement and intent. but the second call would diverge dramatically. just prior to the telephone call president trump spoke to gordon sondland. the u.s. ambassador to the european union that donated $1 million to the president's inaugural campaign and who had been directed by the president himself to take on a leading role in ukraine issues. ambassador sondland relayed the message through him who had lunch with the president's top aid that appears repeatedly through this scheme as his right hand man. he texted with president trump's election. assuming he convinces trump he
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would investigate and get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down visits for -- we will nail down for a visit to washington. good luck. see you tomorrow. so even before the phone call took place, president trump had directed that ukraine initiative the investigation into 2016, the debunked conspiracy theory that ukraine benefitted from the election in order to get the white house visit that he desperately coveted. the ambassador was clear in his testimony about this quid p quid pro quo. >> frequently frame these in the form of a simple question. was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously with
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regard to the white house call and the white house meeting the answer is yes. >> during this call with awe ukrainian leader, president trump does not discuss matters of importance to the united states such as ukraine's efforts to route otolaryngology corruption. instead, president trump veered quickly into the personal favor that he wanted president zalenski to do. investigations that would help the re-election effort. witnesses described it as unusual, improper, inappropriate, concerning. two of them immediately reported their concerns to white house lawyers. now let me just take a few minutes walking through the important call step by step. because it is evidence that is central to the president's team. near the beginning of the call, he said i would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. we are ready to continue to
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cooperate for the next steps great support in the area of defense included nearly 400 million dollars of military assistance to ukraine which one witness testified was nearly 10% of the defense budget. and this support comes as a result of russia's invasion of ukraine in 2014 when russia illegally annexed nearly 7% of the territory. since then the united states and allies provided support for ukraine and emerging post soviet democracy to fend off russia in the east. he placed a hold on military assistance to ukraine without providing any reason to his own cabinet members or national
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security officials. it showed there was unanimous support from every relevant agency in the trump administration. somehow ukraine needed to give more to the united states. it was immediately after he brought up u.s. military support and purchasing antitank weapons president trump responded i would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and ukraine knows a lot about it. now the favor included two demands that had nothing to do with foreign policy. first i'd like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine.
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i guess you have one of your wealthy people it says. the server, they say ukraine has it. there's a lot of things that went on. the whole situation. i think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. and later i'd like to have you call you or your people and i'd like you to get to the bottom of it. the whole nonsense ended with a poor performance by a man named robert mueller. an incompetent performance but they say a lot of it started with ukraine. whatever you can do its very important that you do it if that's possible. it was behind the hack of the democratic national committee in 2016. not a single witness in our investigation testified that there was any factual support
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for this allegation. to the contrary, russia alone interfered in the 2016 u.s. election. and special counsel mueller indicted 12 russians for this conspiracy. and in sweeping and systematic fashion. they served on the national security counsel until july and testified that the president was told by his own former senior advisers including his homeland security adviser and former national security adviser that the theory was false and although no one in the u.s. government knew of any support for this theory it had one significant supporter. russian president vladimir
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putin. he said second as we all know during the presidential campaign in the united states they adopted a position in favor of one candidate. more than that, with the approval of the political leadership they funded this candidate or female candidate to be more precise. he made it very clear when he said thank god no one is accusing us anymore of interfering in u.s. elections. russia not ukraine interfered in the 2016 election for the
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benefit of donald trump and why? because it would help his own political standing. he even sought to with hold a meeting until he fell in line with president putin's lies. the leader that had actually invaded ukraine. the second demand he made during the july 25th call was to investigate the front runner for the democratic nomination for president in 2020. former vice president joe biden and his son hunter. he said there's a lot of talk about biden's son and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be
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great. witnesses testified that there was no factual support for this claim. rather they noted that vice president biden was acting in support of a consensus and u.s. policy to clean up the prosecutor general's office in ukraine. he had been publicly advocating for months while pressing ukrainian officials to initiate them in support of his client donald trucmp. he understood the rule very clearly. he testified mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states. we knew these investigations were important to the president. to others he was working at cross purchases with official policy channels toward ukraine, even as he was working on behalf of president trump. according to former national
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security adviser ambassador john bolton, mr. giuliani was a quote, hand grenade that's going to blow everybody up, unquote. he said i also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the united states specifically washington d.c. on the other hand, we'll be very serious about the case and we'll work on the investigation. in other words, on one hand is the white house visit while on the other hand he agreed to pursue the investigations this statement shows he fully
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understood the quid pro quo between these investigations and that the ambassador testified so clearly about. numerous once ones testified. an official act by president trump. senior official at the u.s. embassy in ukraine said it's important to understand that a white house visit was critical to him. he needed to show u.s. support at the highest levels in order to demonstrate to the russian president vladimir putin that he had u.s. backing as well as advance his anti-corruption reform agenda at home. in other words, the white house visit would help his anticorruption reforms.
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and that support remains critical as he meets today with president putin to try to resolve the conflict in the east. now the day after this phone call, president trump sought to ensure that he got the message. they met with officials and mentioned that president trump brought up some quote very sensitive issues unquote. after that meeting ambassador sondland had a private one-on-one meeting with the top aid. during which they probably discussed the issue of investigations. he pulled out a cell phone and called president trump. he encountered a situation that followed. i heard him greet the president and explain that he was calling
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from kiev. i heard him then clarify he was in ukraine. he implied he was in ukraine and went on to state he loves your ass, unquote. i then heard president trump ask so he's going to do the investigation? the ambassador replied that he is going to do it adding that he will do anything you ask him to do. he told him he only cares about the big stuff that benefits the president himself like the biden investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. this is very important. he spoke to president trump before the july 25th call with president zelenskiy and replied
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his requirement for investigations in exchange for a white house meeting. during that call, president trump asked for the favor of these two political investigations immediately after the ukrainian president brought up u.s. military report for ukraine which president trump had recently suspended or put on hold. and at the end testify call, he made a point of acknowledging the link between the investigations that president trump requested and the white house meeting that president zelenskiy desperately wanted. and the following day he confirmed to president trump on the telephone in person that the ukrainians would indeed initiate the investigations discussed on the call. which was the only thing about ukraine that president trump cared about. now it's very important to understand that this investigation revealed that the july 25th call was neither the start nor the end of president
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trump's efforts to use the powers of his office for personal political gain and you have to look at all the evidence in context as a whole. prior to the call, the president removed the former ambassador to clear the way for his 3 hand picked agents to spear head his corrupt agenda in ukraine. secretary perry, ambassador sondland and vulker. all of who attended his inauguration on may 20th. all political appointee, they proved to be more than willing to engage in what dr. hill later described as an improper domestic political errand for the president. on april 21st he won the election with 73% of the vote and he had two primary platforms. to resolve the war in the east
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with russia and to route out corruption. even though following the call they stated that president trump expressed his commitment to route otolaryngology corruption, he did not mention corruption at all on this call just like he did not mention corruption on the july 25th call. shortly after this call, president trump asked him to attend the inauguration. he testified that the inauguration had not yet been scheduled and the reason for the abrupt change of plans was not related to any scheduling issues. what had happened in the three weeks between april 21st and may 13th when vice president pence was originally invited and then
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disinvited or removed he announced his bid for nomination for president. then president trump spoke with president putin on the telephone. one official testified that the conversation between president trump and president putin included a discussion of ukraine. he told the new york times that he intended to travel to ukraine on behalf of his client president trump in order to quote meddle in an investigation but he cancelled the trip the next day claiming he was surrounded by enemies of president trump. president trump said ukraine was
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corrupt and tried to take him down. the same false narrative pushed by president putin and mr. giuliani and in order for the white house meeting to occur, president trump told the delegation they must talk to rudy to get the visit scheduled. these were the first that in his mind corruption equals investigation. in the weeks and months following, mr. giuliani relayed to ukrainian officials and government officials that president trump designated at the may 23rd meeting to take a lead on ukraine policy. the directive from president trump that a white house meeting would not occur until ukraine announced the two political investigations that president trump required. and well before the july 25th call, ambassador sondland also relayed this quid pro quo to the ukrainians.
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he conveyed the message directly to the president at the beginning of july urging him to reference investigations associated with the giuliani factor with president trump. at meetings at the white house on july 10th, he told other u.s. officials and two of the advisers that he had an agreement with the acting chief of staff that the white house visit would be scheduled if ukraine announced the investigations. he began to review what the deliverable would be. the request was expris slicit a there was no ambiguity.
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so the witnesses that testified before the committee references was short hand for an investigation into the bidens. he objected to this meeting for investigations trade and he told dr. hill that you go and tell him that i'm not part of whatever they are cooking up on this. and you go ahead and tell him what you heard and what i have said. ambassador sondland testified that everyone was in the loop including mr. mulvaney, secretary pompeo and secretary
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perry and their top advisers. he will turnover every stone, unquote. secretary perry and chief of staff mulvaney responded to the e-mail. a date would be scheduled. the evidence also shows that the ukrain y ukrainians understood it. a few days before the july 25th call, ambassador william taylor,
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the acting u.s. ambassador to ukraine and the former permanent ambassador to ukraine texted the ambassador sondland and vulker or he stated in his testimony, on july 20th, i had a phone conversation during which he conveyed to me that president zelenskiy did not want to be used in a pawn in a u.s. re-election campaign. but president trump's pressure campaign did not relent. just four days later he received that message via vulker that he needed to convince president trump that he would do the investigations in order to get that white house meeting. and he tried to do exactly that with president trump. in the weeks following the july
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25th call, he heeded the request. they continued a pressure campaign to secure a public announcement of the investigations. he did not require that ukraine conduct the investigation as a prerequisite, instead, they needed only to publicly announce the investigation. it is clear that the goal was not the investigations themselves or not any corruption that the investigations might have entailed but the political benefit that president trump would enjoy from an announcement of investigations into his political rival and against an assessment that showed that he received foreign support in the 2016 election.
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for that reason the facts didn't matter because he only cared about the personal and political benefit from the announcement of the investigation. over the next couple of weeks they worked to draft a statement to issue. when the aid proposed a statement that did not include specific references to the investigation president trump wa wanted he relied that would not be good enough to get a white house meeting. here you can see a comparison on the left of the original anonymous statement drafted by the pop aid to president zalenszalens zelenskiy and on the right requirements. we intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes. here's the critical difference, including those involving the
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2016 u.s. election. which will prevent the recurrence of this problem in the future. the only difference in the statement that giuliani required and the statements drafted was this reference to the two investigations that president trump wanted and told president zelenskiy about on the july 25th call. now ultimately president zelenskiy's investigation temporarily shelved this announcement while efforts would remain on going. ukraine did not make a public announcement of the investigations that president trump required and as a result no white house meeting was scheduled. but he was pushing on another pressure point. the hold on the vital military assistance that the president put in place for more than a month still without any explanation to any of the policy experts.
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our investigation revealed that a number of ukrainian officials had made inquiries to various u.s. officials about the aid as early as the phone call. and revealed at the end of august. but this is important. it was important for the ukrainian officials to keep it quite because if it became public then russia would know that the u.s. support for ukraine might be on ice. so by the end of that month, the evidence reveals several facts. one, three, president trump placed ahold on vital military assistance to ukraine without
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any explanation and notwithstanding the uniform support for that assistance with the relative federal agencies in congress. ambassador taylor testified that this quid quo pro between the investigations president trump wanted and the security assistance was crazy and he told ambassador sondland as i said on the phone, it's crazy to with hold security assistance for help with a political campaign. now in an effort to move the white house meeting and military aid along he wrote an e-mail to secretary po many, peo on august 22nd. he wrote, mike, should we block time in warsaw for potus to meet zelenskiy. i'd ask him to look him in the eye and tell him once the new justice folks are in place, mid september, z, president
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zelenskiy should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues of importance to the potus and the u.s. hopefully that will break the log jam. he testified this was a reference to the investigations that president trump discussed on the july 25th call which secretary pompeo admitted to that he listened to in real time. he hoped that this would help lift the log jam which he meant the hold on critical security assistance to ukraine and the white house meeting. and what was the response? yes. it's also about the public
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message sent to the russian government. on september 1st at a prebri prebriefing, ambassador sondland raised the issue on the hold of security assistance. he said, i mentioned to vice president pence that i had concerns that the delay had become tied to the issue of investigations. expressing neither surprise nor dismay at the linkage between the two. following vice president pence's meeting with president zelenskiy, he went over again and pulled him aside to explain that the hold on security assistance was conditioned on the public announcement of the 2016 election interference investigations. he then explained to ambassador
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taylor that he had previously made a mistake in telling ukrainian officials that only the white house meeting was conditioned on a public announcement of the political investigation beneficial to president trump. in truth, it was conditioned on the public announce: president trump wanted. and it was not good enough. nearly one week later on september 7th, the holes remained and they spoke on the phone. the president told ambassador sondland that there was no quid quo pro and he should want
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to do it. this is saying there is no quid pro quo before demanding precisely that quid pro quo. >> and immediately after this phone call with president trump trump this is the precise message passed directly to him. he told them although this was not a quid pro quo we would be at a stealemate. he finally relented and arrangements were soon made for the ukrainian president to make
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a statement where he would make a public announcement of the investigations he wanted and for ukraine to get the much needed military assistance. although there's no doubt that president trump ordered the military aid held up and on october 17th, the acting chief of staff confirmed in public that there was such a qui quid quo pro. let's watch what he said. >> democrats responded and it was to with hold ukraine. >> look back into what happened
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in 2016, certainly worried about corruption. >> there you have it. by early september, the president's scheme was unraveling. on september 9th, the intelligence oversight and foreign affairs committee announced an investigation into president trump and mr. giuliani's efforts in crew yauk. they learned a whistleblower filed a complaint nearly a month earlier related to some unknown issue of which the president and the white house knew was related to ukraine and had been circulating among them for sometime. and lifted the hold on security
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assistance to ukraine. this is wrong. in fact, he has repeatedly called on ukraine to investigate vice president biden his rival. these and other actions by the president and his associates demonstrate it today. it did not end with russia's support for trump in 2016 which president trump invited by asking for his opponent to be hacked by russia. president trump also engaged once this investigation began in an unprecedented effort to obstruct the inquiry and i look forward to answering your questions about that unprecedented obstruction. in conclusion, i want to say that the intelligence committee has produced to you a nearly 300 page report. and i am grateful that you have
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offered me the opportunity today to walk you through the evidence underlying. admittedly it's a lot to digest. the scheme is simple and the facts are not in dispute. it can be boiled down to first president trump directed a scheme to pressure ukraine into opening two investigations that would benefit his 2020 re-election campaign and not the u.s. national interest. and with holding of an oval office meeting to pressure ukraine into meeting his demands. third everyone is in the loop. his chief of staff, secretary of state and vice president and fourth, despite the public discovery of this scheme which prompted the president to
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release the aid he has not given up. causing an imminent threat to our elections and our national security. members of the committee president trump -- >> regular order. time has elapsed. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i move the committee should be in recess. >> move to table. >> it's a privileged motion. it's not debatable. all of those in favor -- >> i seek a recorded vote. >> the ayes have it. the committee -- >> roll call.
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the clerk will call the roll. >> a lot of procedural challenges, this one over a motion to recess. but let me check in right now. what is this about? one was he had gone beyond his alotted period of time and before he could end the sentence another member jumped in with the motion as you mentioned to recess. again, here again, democrats will kill this motion and proceedings will pick up. now i should mention that he was coming to the end of his statement anyway and we're expecting the committee to take a short break but you see here, some of the members here who
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appears to be making his way up sometime soon as they go around making this roll call vote to get all the members on the record to get this underway. is this the way it goes when the two sides are opposed on something? they have a well earned reputation for being more partisan. it's certainly bigger and so, when you have a republican member bring up a point of order or motion like one we just saw to dismiss and you see there, chairman nadler calling on the clerk to report. so that is going to take control of these proceedings in short order. here we go. >> how long is the recess? >> the gentleman will suspend. >> i'd just like to know how long. >> the gentleman will suspend.
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>> the gentleman will suspend. the committee will extend the recess for 15 minutes. i will announce also that we have been in session about 2.5 hours. after the conclusion of the testimony the cross examination will be about another 2.5 hours. we'll probably have a recess then before the commencement of the five minute round of questions. i would ask people remain in their seats while the witnesses are given an opportunity to leave. i would remind people in the audience that if they leave they may not have their seats back when we reconvene. the committee will reconvene in 15 minutes. >> all right. all that to get to this for a recess that's occurring in 15 minutes and it gives us a chance to put something in perspective. these were not fact based witnesses or as we saw last week, constitutional scholars.
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these are essentially staff attorneys for the various committees involved kind of laying out the evidence. what is a strong narrative of a president that abused his power and was involved in a qui quid quo pro with ukraine. on the other hand, republicans going with much -- what appears to be a, there's nothing here offense. they're not sure what the offense is. let me bring in andrea mitchell. a lot of this is over aid and a meeting between president zelenskiy and president. there's a meeting going on today between zelenskiy and putin in paris. explain that to us. >> these are all important
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negotiations between zelenskiy, the un, new and untested leader of crukraine and vladimir putin who has been the leader either by tightitle or effective leade russia. they took crimea from ukraine and supported separatist in eastern ukraine. he needed that military aid desperately from the trump administration. offensive weapons that have been withheld by president obama and then offered by the trump administration. but the alleged quid quo pro was he was not able to get that aid until he agreed to investigate the 2016 campaign and the bidens. political investigations that would be very helpful to president trump's re-election
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effort and according to the testimony as presented again, a recap today from the intelligence committee. this investigation didn't even have to take place. it just had to be announced so it was publicly reportable and that rudy giuliani rather than the state department was the point person for all of this, organizing this sort of parallel effort. that is the allegation of the democrats of which they say is an impeachable offense and abuse of power and key witnesses such as mike pompeo and others would not be able to testify and not furnish key documents as well. all of this being presented as now zelenskiy never got his
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white house meeting. it was exposed for all to see by the phone call that was released to the embarrassment of the ukrainians that the memo or phone call was released by the white house. the president thought it would be helpful to him and it turned out to be not so helpful but in any case it was to the fury of the ukrainians that it showed him as a weak partner and being ordered around by the president of the united states. this gives him very little leverage in the key meetings with vladimir putin. that's why he wanted not only the military aid but for that meeting to be embraced in the oval office as the new leader of crew y ukraine but that's something that the president is not willing to do and still has not done. he goes in with very little leverage as he negotiates with putin. the talks are being hosted by france and germany trying to support ukraine in this key confrontation with putin. >> let me continue that thought. and an international affairs analyst.
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put me in president zelenskiy's seat right now. he's watching this hearing going on in the united states. this impeachment move. he has got, you know, a meeting with putin today. where does he stand? he's going into thnegotiations try to end the war. that was one of his main campaign promises when he ran for president and so in order to be in the strongest position for that negotiation he needs the support of the united states he needs the military assistance and he needs the public support, by the way, from president trump. i think that's something that we haven't been focused on and instead, what does he get? he says well, in order for me to do that, you have to help me out with my election and that, therefore, weakens his position as he goes into these
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negotiations with president putin today. they seem to be waging their campaign. at the same time they're still holding up this idea that the president was legitimately concerned about corruption in ukraine. and also worried about, you know, biden and, you know, what happened in the 2016 election you know that there was no u.s.-lead investigation. that would be the thing to do before you would ask a foreign country for help. >> yeah. as a former federal prosecutor i can't tell you how upside down and backwards this whole dialogue seems to me.
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when you're a prosecutor you're very protective about investigations. about the discretion and whether to start one because it's very disruptive to people's lives. it's something of great import. and how it's carried out. it has to be carried out with integrity. it's inappropriate in the united states. to start a investigation of somebody that's a political rival of the politician. it's virtually unheard of that a poll situation, particularly the president of the united states would go to a foreign country and demand an investigation of u.s. citizens when we don't even have an investigation going on in the united states of those u.s. citizens. >> because in theory, that investigation could lead to a criminal charge in a foreign country against a u.s. citizen. >> that seems to be what the president was suggesting but the
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president is not an expert on ukrainian law as far as i know. while it's not unheard of to approach a foreign country either through legal mechanisms or political mechanisms, to ask for assistance in an on going united states investigation, i have never heard of a situation where we would not only demand a foreign investigation of u.s. citizens under the foreign countries laws but then also demand a public announcement of the investigations. investigations are generally done without public announcements because you need to find out the facts first. democrats were trying to make a case for what could be articles of impeachment. this is not a criminal proceeding but from a
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prosecutor's standpoint, how are they doing in laying out that case? are there holes in this case or are there things that they would have liked to have had or should have to make it a stronger one? >> both sides are of course picking out the parts of the evidence that are more favorable to them. but there's really not a lot that's favorable to the republicans in this, in what has been layed out so far. so it's more attacking the democrats presentation of the evidence and trying to characterize it differently. but because the white house has not made witnesses or documents available there's not much for the republicans to rely on in discussing their point of view about the case. >> and to you on that, this is not the strongest hand democrats could have because they will claim that they were denied, denied, denied at every turn. the materials they wanted and certainly the people. is there a thought that we could see some of those people that we have not heard from between now and a senate trial?
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>> that's very unlikely. not the people that the democrats want to see. and certainly that's not what has been communicated and their refusal to communicate in anyway. if under senate rules they decide they can present them in a fashion that is more favorable to them. >> all right -- >> i would say that would be up to chief justice roberts that will be presiding if there is impeachment and a senate trial. >> hallie jackson is at the white house. they're paying close attention to this but the white house is very excited about what will happen later today with the release of an inspector generals report having to do with the russia investigation. can you put that in context for us? >> absolutely. let me take it in a few parts. first what is happening now and what we expect to happen later this afternoon. that the president is watching
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closely. as we speak, as this break is happening at this judiciary committee hearing we have been talking to our sources here and i just came from the west wing chatting with one person familiar with the strategy that says this has been repetitive today so far. this is a summary version of events. you have the white house, really trying to hit hard a couple of key points. number one is the ukrainian leader and president trump is trying to make this point too. he felt no pressure to open this corruption investigation. keep in mind there's a geopolitical backdrop to this. this leader is new. and he is young and relatively
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untested on the world stage. we're talking about a request here by the president of the united states, the most powerful country in the world that is asking for this, it appears to be in the eyes of democrats this favor for personal political gain. republicans and the white house here, people familiar with their strategy are also trying to make the point that aid to ukraine would not exist without president trump in the first place. that's correct. the republicans here and the white house continuing to make the point that they believe this is an unfair and unprecedented process. it's a similar argument to what we heard in the past from the president. he is tweeting and we know that he's at least some what engaged in these hearings right now. the do nothing democrats are a disgrace.
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you can see them there. this is something that is likely to indicate that there was no serious wrong doing. no evidence of serious bias on the part of fbi leaders. that the fbi was for example spying on the trump campaign. the president made that claim without evidence and the fbi on his campaign and that is what triggered essentially the russia investigation. the report is expected to rebutt that. watch for the president to seize on that. i can tell you what one of the top advisers already had. i spoke with kelly ann conway that's already attacking the
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media pre-emptivley. the white house is eager to talk about this. the president believes this is a bigger story based on what he tweeted over the weekend. he is watching this. as for timing white house officials said publicly they believe that report would be released in the early afternoon. he knows how to turn the headlines and the narrative. thank you for that. tell us where we are as we see the march down this road to articles of impeachment. are we at the point in this?
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>> it sure looks that way. at this point in every impeachment investigation in history we begin to get a hand at how broad the articles of impeachment if they are past are going to be. there were 11 articles of impeachment that included bringing disgrace and ridicule on the presidency. at the time of richard nixon they were centered on watergate but there was a proposal for artart articles that said such things as charges of tax fraud those were not passed. so we heard a lot about ukraine today but not enough to give us an idea of how broad this might be. >> is there a relevant historical background to this president? in terms of comparison? >> i think he's in a category of his own. particularly the fact that he
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has chosen to take a position of such a lack of cooperation. >> thank you. let me go to jeff right now on capitol hill. keep in mind we're in the middle of what we were told is a 15 minute break before they resume. walk us through what happens. we're going to hear from the minority staff attorney again responding to that evidence but in terms of this process, how big a week is this going to be? >> well, this is a typical week. so far as we know, this is the last public hearing of the house judiciary committee before this committee marks up, which means to debate and amend articles of impeachment. so we are told that committee staffers behind the scenes have been drafting the articles of impeachment and sometime later this week according to chairman jerry nadler's own comments they expect to formerly introduce them and vote on them. because democrats control this committee the 24-17 split they would likely move the articles of impeachment from this committee to the house floor
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that would set up a vote by the full house sometime before december 20th, next friday. that's when house democrats, the entire house for that matter is set to go home to their home districts for christmas break. >> i was going to say but in terms of drafting the articles of impeachment, walk me through it. is it a bunch of guys with shift sleeves rolled up and working among themselves with pens and charts or is this something that we would see played out? >> something like that, right? so you would help walking behind. and if you also combine that
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with what he said in his testimony before he was cutoff, both of them really articulate two articles of impeachment. one being abuse of power and the other being obstruction of congress. goldman in the final comments he gave, he went through four points that summarizes the theory of the democratic case. one that president trump used his personal office for gain in trying to open up investigations that would be personally and politically beneficial to president trump. two, goldman said that president trump thought to ramp up the pressure by dangling this offer of a coveted white house meeting and of course the delivery of aid. third, goldman said that president trump undermines free and fair elections and thought to undercut this nation's election security and then 4th he said the president directed unprecedented levels of
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obstruction and drawing lines between all the public statements that we heard from all the key players. certainly two articles of impeachment but we have not heard yet today coming up in this hearing so far is a clear argument for a potential third and that would have the mueller report have a big come back here where we have democrats pointing to obstruction of justice and outlined in volume two of the mueller report, some democrats want to include that because they say it speaks to an established pattern of bad behavior by this president. and they think the argument of the case they can build based on live witness testimony and actual evidence that the committees themselves have compiled all really circulates around the ukraine question. >> all right. i want to get to all of that in a moment. let me turn to carol. the obstruction of congress, if
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we can carve out all the ukraine stuff, this is an administration that said don't cooperate. don't testify. that seems like it could be the easiest argument for democrats. >> certainly something to counter the false narratives that articles of impeachment have to allege crimes or something that's criminal under the federal criminal code. that's not the case but that is what we have been hearing a lot of and certainly obstruction of justice is a crime. what makes it a little bit more difficult are legal arguments behind that and only district court has ruled so far. >> i'm talking about obstruction of congress. but the same idea plays out that whether or not the president can assert executive privilege by telling people not to show up at all or deliver any documents is the same issue that has been alleged in the past about obstruction of justice.
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and the supreme court has not definitively ruled on the contours of executive privilege. so it would entail a bit more of a legal battlement maybe something that they're willing to undertake for the reasons that i discussed earlier. >> did you hear anything? jeff mentioned hearing the hints of at least two articles. my point is to how many articles of impeachment there could be. >> i do agree. there's very little discussion of the obstruction count. there's a lot of discussion about the ukraine incident which is really the heart of the matter here and i think that -- i think the reason they keep referring to the obstruction in the form of not delivering witnesses and documents is because that plays into how thorough an investigation they can do on the ukrainian -- on the ukrainian matter which they have done a pretty thorough investigation on actually.
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it's up to the republicans to offer up evidence contrary to this if they're going to. that's a dangerous move to the republicans because that might entail waving the executive privilege entirely. you can't just introduce the part that you want to introduce once you start offering up witnesses and documents on the subject matter then the rest of the subject matter comes in as well. >> all right. let me go back to andrea mitchell. how likely is it, do you think, that they will ultimately go back to the mueller report to find some justification? >> i think that that's still a matter of debate among the democrats in the caucus. i think the preference by nancy pelosi and leaders would be to restrict it to ukraine. keep it, if you will, clean and simple. not resurrect the mueller report. not go too broad but there maybe a feeling that they have to present something regarding mueller as a vehicle for some of
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the members to vote so they can at least go back to their more moderate districts, swing districts, districts that were red and then this last 2018 election and be able to say, well, i did vote against something. >> and i think, we heard a little bit of a theme here, more than i think we heard before about the reason that this timetable is moving. it's not because of an election per se but because of the potential that the election could be interfered with and that's working the clock and republicans seem to be using that against them. what did you pick up there? >> well, i think that's one of the clear arguments and part of the basis that they say is a foundation for moving ahead with impeachment is that they are
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both second term presidents and should there be punishment and not punishment. in this case the republican argument has been let the voters decide. but the democrats argument those pushing for impeachment and that's all in the caucus virtually and certainly now nancy pelosi made that very clear is that there is a clear and present danger. an urgency to this. that there is a threat because having tried, they say, to interfere in the election he can try again. that there's no way to guarantee the security of the 2020 election and that they therefore need to act urgent sy ly to imp. the counter argument is its very unlikely if they move forward with impeachment that the senate would convict and remove him from office but that's thedy dilemma that they face. >> they'll get going again here
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but for the meantime, let me go to hallie jackson at the white house. you wanted to weigh in here. >> i do because i think the point you're making is a critical one. part of it has to do with the president's personal attorney rudy giuliani and there's concern that giuliani is continuing to meet with people in ukraine with his critics worried he continuing to press the president's case even as the impeachment hearing is happening. he apparently just returned. he conducted a radio interview now in which he talked a bit about that trip and about wanting to present his findings to republicans and the key house committees. even some of the president's allies including matt gates that you saw speak up several times during the first 2.5 hours of the hearing said just recently, just over the weekend, that he found it in his words weird that giuliani was traveling to crew y -- ukraine and wasn't sure why that was happening now.
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so you have people close to the president, somebody that i have seen and talked to, somebody that's close to the president that are concerned about what giuliani is doing. they're also worried because they say this is part of the reason why they need to move forward with this process and it's because there's still active concerns that they have about potential misconduct here. >> let me go to the ambassador on that. your thoughts on mr. giuliani going back to ukraine. what that adds to or what that could do with the impeachment effort. >> strange is a good word. i found it really strange that he did that. he met with some very controversial figures in ukraine. many of them are considered corrupt themselves. we don't know what he's going to report but i thought it was very strange and tries to be diversionary right? it was russia that intervened in our 2016 election and there's a republican argument that mr.
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giuliani wants to underscore. no crew yan th no ukraine intervened based on little evidence and if they're concerned about all of this interference, why haven't they taken any procedures, any legal matters or any new assistance to protect our elections in 20? the fact that they haven't been serious about reforms, i think, suggests that it's all a diversi diversionary tactic. >> we talked at the outset of the break about the meeting going on in paris right now and i asked you about him but put yourself in putin's shoes now. he has one eye on the impeachment hearing right now. where does he stand and where does he benefit here? >> he loves it. it's great. on one hand he has a weak ukrainian president he's negotiating with right now. number two, he hears republicans, leading republican senators and members of congress saying it was ukraine and not rush that intervened in our
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election in 2016 and three, he is waiting for re-election. he's waiting for president trump to come back hoping that they will be able to cooperate on even bigger matters. >> all right. we'll go back in the hearing room as they resume. 3 c3 cooperando con el. given the opportunity to testify about the evidence gathered during our impeachment inquiry. at the outset, let me say the evidence does not support the allegations that my democratic colleagues have made. and i don't believthe evidence leads to the conclusions they suggest. i'm hopeful to add some important perspective and context to the facts under discussion today. the chief allegation that the democrats impeachment inquiry has been trying to assess over the last 76 days ith


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